President, University of Hawaii System
David Lassner is the 15th president of the University of Hawaii. He has worked at the university since 1977, and was most recently its vice president for information technology and chief information officer. Lassner is also a member of the university’s cooperating graduate faculty and has taught both online and in-person in computer science, communications, business and education.
In his prior positions Lassner played an active leadership role in a variety of local, national and international information and communications technology organizations. He served on the boards of Hawaii’s High Technology Development Corporation and Public Broadcasting Service affiliate and he chaired the state’s Broadband Task Force. Lassner also served on the board of Internet2 and was a co-founder and board member of the Kuali Foundation, a founding steering committee member and past-chair of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education’s Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) cooperative and past-chair of the boards of the Pacific Telecommunications Council and of EDUCAUSE, the major professional association for information technology in higher education.
He is currently a WICHE commissioner, a board member for the National Association of System Heads (NASH), and on Board of Governors of the East West Center. He also serves on the boards of the Aloha United Way and the Blood Bank of Hawaii.
Lassner led Hawaii’s major statewide federally funded project that interconnected all public schools, libraries and campuses on six islands with fiber optics and is an active principal investigator with the National Science Foundation, from which he has received multiple grants over the past 20 years focused on research and education networking and cyberinfrastructure. He is principal investigator for the Maui High Performance Computing Center and for the Pacific Disaster Center, major Department of Defense programs on Maui.
Lassner earned an AB in economics summa cum laude and MS in computer science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a PhD in communication and information sciences from the University of Hawaii. He has been recognized with Internet2’s Richard Rose Award, WCET’s Richard Jonsen Award and as a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Hawaii.